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anne12

i-751 temporary living apart

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My wife and I are temporary living apart becaue of work. This is a temporary situation and we'll move back together in the summer. Total time living apart will be 8 months. During this 8 months we traveled to see each other every 2-3 months (every time we had a few days off). We spent all holidays together and with our families. Despite of this temporary situation, we have lot of evidence to show its a bona finde marriage: joint lease, joint finances, joint medical/dental/car/renters insurance, car purchase, trips, picts with both families in several holidays, etc. 

 

Did any of you filed i-751 when living apart? How was your experience? 
Do you think is worth filing i-751 with a lawyer to know how to better present our case? 

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Posted (edited)

The question is - do both of you maintain a primary residency at one location? If you do, you do not need to explain anything.  Temporarily living apart is not different from you going on an extended business trip somewhere else.

 

You should just submit documents related to your primary, principal residence where you have joint responsibilities together.  USCIS does not (and should not) be privy to every aspect of your life situation.  They are by law required to know if your marriage is bona fide and if it is, then there is no issue.

 

I would suggest you maintain everything in one address — bank account, credit card, etc.

Edited by GBOS

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Thanks so much for the response. We do mantain the same principal residence and we receive all letters to this address.

However I filed taxes in 2 states and one of the credit cards might have my address out of state (apart from my wife). Not sure if that would be a problem. 

 

In the form i-751 it asks for physical address and permanent address, which addressess should I use? 

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@anne12 - A few things:

 

In your Federal tax, I trust you use the primary residence.  You do not need to show USCIS state tax(es).  They do not require those, therefore USCIS will not see your other addresses, if you do not show them.

 

The credit card, keep one or two active is enough.  As long as one of you use it regularly.  "Most" credit card statements do not separate whose cards use what transaction (i.e. no matter how many cards you have on the account, they all have the same number with different names on them).  The only bank that I know of is Capital One, whose statement does show two different card numbers and transactions by card number on month statement.

 

What it comes down to - and this is my personal opinion - is you have to "paint the narrative" of what you want USCIS to see with factual and verifiable evidence.  As long as you marriage is bona fide, there is no issue.  You do not need to show every single thing about your life, you just need to show them sufficiently to convince "the jury" in the legal term.

 

The narrative being - you live and share life at a primary address with a lot of documentations related to that primary address.  That is it.  Don't overthink it and don't give them too much information than you need to.

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I disagree with some of the above. There are things in the law about omissions. Sometimes omitting things is viewed just as bad as flat out lying. I believe it is better to view it as tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. If the truth is a bit messy that's totally fine. 

 

People can live apart and have a bonafide marriage. It's up to you to prove it. Show you have a shared residence and a separate one for work that is temporary. You seem to have all the proof so IMO hiding it or omitting it is a mistake. Disclose everything up front. 

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Posted (edited)

No single right answer and there is no omission here.

 

Where in Form I-751 does it require that we need to disclose if we are temporarily living apart?  There is a case where couples do live apart for work reason the entire time not temporarily.  It is answering the question truthfully.  If I am not with my spouse for say one month, it does not mean I abandon my principal residence.  My permanent address is still on my driver's license and that is the truth.

 

Form I-751 is not an essay.  You answer the question based on what you believe is the truth.

Edited by GBOS

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You should use the address of your principal residence on all your forms - that is where the USCIS correspondence will go, and that is where your relevant supporting documentation should come from. Don't confuse the matter with multiple addresses, or credit card statements with a different address. These things are not relevant to proving a bona fide marriage.

 

Presumably, you will provide your tax transcript showing that you have worked out-of-state. Just clarify this in your cover letter. For example: "Due to my work commitments, my spouse and I maintained a temporary residence in <other state> from <this date> to <this date>. The bills for this temporary residence are in my name only, and my spouse made visits back and forth from our principal residence during this period. For the purpose of this I-751 filing, we are providing evidence from our principal residence only." 

 

I wouldn't waste money on a lawyer. Your explanation for being apart is quite reasonable, and not uncommon. A paragraph in your cover letter to explain having a temporary second residence in another state in order to earn income should be enough.


Removal of Conditions I-751

07.23.2018 Sent I-751 Priority Express to CSC (California)

07.25.2018 Package delivered

08.02.2018 18 month Green Card extension letter

03.09.2019 Biometrics waiver letter

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The form i-765 asks for 1) physical adderss and 2) permanent address. For what I read, couples living apart automatically have to go to an interview. Not sure what will happen in our case. 

 

I  have two options: 

- Use my current address (apart from my wife) as physical address. I can include a letter from my boss, justification from the company, flight tickets and pictures. However that seems like making it such a big deal. This will probably trigger an interview, which is not a problm but it will delay everything. 

- Use my pernament address as physical address, altought Im not currently there now (but I should be in a month or so). In this case I don't know if it's better to still add a cover letter explaining the months I've been apart, or ommit it. 

 

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As a general rule, I always recommend total and complete honesty in filling out forms for the government.  After all,  you have to sign it under penalty of perjury, if found out it's cause for denial so don't go there.  Just be upfront.  For physical address where you are now, put where you are.  No big deal.  Explain the circumstances as you have here in the cover letter.  Most AOS applications get an interview anyway, and if you're honest about everything you have nothing to fear and you'll be approved.  It's not that different than couples (like me and my husband) who live in different countries and are going through the CR-1 process right now, which is like AOS since we have to prove a bona fide marriage when we're 10,000 km apart.  The important thing is that you show evidence, as you have, of what a married couple would do in your situation.  Good luck!

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